Do you ever doubt your creative ability? Do you think of creativity as a natural "gift", that occurs randomly, or do you believe it is a learned skill? Is there anything you can do to become more creative? There is, and it's not actually that difficult!
Oh, the wonders of inspiration. In one of my earlier articles about songwriting I discussed how songwriting requires more than just inspiration: a songwriter also needs to learn technique to maximize their inspiration-potential. You can practice technique, but how is it possible to learn how to get inspired?
Inspiration appearing randomly out of nowhere is one of the most prevalent myths today.
In my experience (and in many other artists') there is actually a lot a person can do to be prepared and get inspiration more frequently.
People get inspiration every day — so the problem isn't never "getting" inspired; it's not allowing it to come out. How can that be? Just listen to kids. Quite often, when they play together, they will come up with and sing completely random and made-up songs.
Kids are intrinsically creative, and they express it daily. But things change as they start getting into their teenage years. No longer do they create songs. And slowly, they start moving away from the creative play.
So what's happening? In a way, it's being pushed away through schooling and the environment they're surrounded in (at least, within a North American context).
And if you haven't taken care of that environment, it's likely that your creative juices have been squeezed from you as well.
But it's still there, and you can still learn to extract it like you did when you were younger. Quite easily, actually. But what can you do? Watch the video below, where I show a young songwriter how to take care of and release his creative flow — this way he doesn't have to worry about being creative because he'll just BE creative.
Learning to be creative is just about looking after the seemingly random bits of inspiration. Next time you feel like you're having a case of writer's block, just remember to watch this video again. If you're one of those people who just never seems to be creative, it's likely because you've been blocking it out. But that's okay, because it is never too late to get it back.
About the Author
Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and composer with a passion for teaching songwriting